R&A USGA World Handicapping System
The World Handicap System (WHS) is ready to be launched, in Great Britain and Ireland from November 2nd 2020 and for the first time will provide golfers with a unified and more inclusive handicapping system.
Though many countries adopted the new system in January 2020, the system will go live in other parts of the world throughout this year to accommodate different implementation plans and variations in the golfing calendar.
Developed by the R&A and the USGA in close coordination with existing handicapping authorities around the world, the WHS will provide all golfers with a consistent measure of playing ability, and handicaps will be calculated in the same way wherever they are in the world.
A key objective of the initiative was to develop a modern system, enabling as many golfers as possible to obtain and maintain a Handicap Index. Golfers will be able to transport their Handicap Index globally and compete or play a casual round with players from other regions on a fair basis. It will also indicate the score a golfer is reasonably capable of achieving the next time they go out to play.
The R&A website has some excellent videos on it's website which will give you an insight into the WHS; click here to view.
The key features of the WHS:
- A player's handicap will now be referred to as their Handicap Index (HI) and your Handicap Index is calculated on the lowest 8 of the most recent 20 scores recorded
- The maximum handicap under the new system is 54.0 for both Ladies and Men
- New players will need to return 54 holes to obtain a handicap (these can be 9 or 18 holes)
- Every course will have a Course Rating and a Slope Rating
- A Playing Conditions Calculation (PCC) will be automatically perfomed once a day at midnight. It considers all acceptable scores (minimum 8 cards required by players with a HI of 36.0 or below) submitted on a golf course during that day. A player's HI is automatically updated overnight (This is the equivilant to the current CSS calculation).
Scores which can be used:
- An authorised format of play
- All singles competitions are mandatory (9 or 18 holes)
- Any social/general play scores need to be pre-registered to be acceptable. It's your choice as to whether your social round of golf with a friend will count for handicap.
Scores which can't be used:
- When practicing or having a playing lesson
- When using non conforming equipment
- When a minimum number of holes have not been completed
What to do when you arrive at the Club:
- Convert your HI to a course handicap - At RMS there will a course handicap table available by the 1st tee of the Pam Barton and J H Taylor course
- Select the tees you will be playing from and look up your HI to ascertain your course handicap
- If you are playing in a competition or a match you will also need to know any handicap allowances that may be applied.
How to submit a score:
- Scores to be submitted on the computer in the Pro Shop or Reception area by the player
- Currently RMS members are only required to enter competition cards on to the computer but under the new system all competition and any pre-registered social/general play scores will need to be entered on to the computer upon completion of the round in order for them to be included in the PCC calculation at midnight
We are planning to hold a few member presentations at the Club once it has re-opened post the Covid-19 closure. We will go through the system in more detail and answer any questions you may have.
Should you have any questions, please contact Emma Dickinson, Assistant Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org or Richard Cudlip, Competitions Secretary, at email@example.com.